Alan Clyne gets in front of Steve Coppinger. Picture by STEVE LINE
By ALAN THATCHER at the O2 Arena, London
Scottish number one Alan Clyne bowed out of the Allam British Open, then set his sights on the Commonwealth Games.
The world No.28 from Edinburgh lost 11-9, 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 to South African Stephen Coppinger on the glass court inside the O2 Arena in London.
Clyne surrendered a tight first game but then battled through a tiebreak to win the second. But he was disappointed with his control in the third and fourth games as the 6ft 3in Coppinger, ranked one place above him, dominated the match.
The 5ft 8in Clyne frequently complained that his path to the ball was being blocked by a taller opponent and several incidents were referred to the video appeal referee.
Clyne said: “The problem with the video review system is that they take so long. With a fairly cold venue like this it means the ball slows down while you wait for the decision and you have to warm it back up.”
He was disappointed not to progress further in one of the game’s biggest tournaments, which is back on the calendar after a two-year absence because of sponsorship difficulties.
He added: “I paid the price for a loss of control in the third and fourth games. Steve stepped up and I went back. It was a big chance to get into the second round of a major tournament and I wasted that opportunity.
“Drop shots have always been a major part of my game and they worked well on a cool court like this. But I needed to get the ball past him and into the back corners.
“I have been moving steadily up the rankings and a win today would have been another boost so that defeat was pretty annoying.”
Clyne will now take a break from singles play during the summer but will be taking part in a trial doubles event in Birmingham next week as Scottish Squash prepare for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Clyne, who finished in fourth place in the men’s doubles with team-mate Harry Leitch in the Delhi Games, said: “We will be trying out different combinations in a friendly tournament against teams from England and Australia.
“We will also be experimenting with different tin heights on the front wall, We had a 17-inch tin in Delhi and we will be experimenting with 15, 13 and 11-inch heights to encourage more attacking shots.”
Alan interviews Alan